Illinois beats Iowa, loses against Nebraska


Austin Yattoni

Illinois’ Ines Vias prepares to return the ball against Nebraska on Sunday. Vias and senior Louise Kwong lost their doubles match against Iowa’s Elise Van Heuvelen and Adorabol Huckleby.

By Christian Evans, Staff writer

The Illinois women’s tennis team started off its four-game road trip Friday by beating Iowa, 5-2.

The Illini victory increased their win streak to five matches and their record to 9-9 overall and 3-1 in conference play. The Hawkeyes fell to 13-4 overall and 3-2 in conference play.

While Iowa lost the match, it did take the doubles point. The Hawkeyes won the No. 1 and No. 3 doubles matches.

Iowa’s Zoe Douglas and Kristen Thoms won 6-4 against senior Alexis Casati and sophomore Daniela Pedraza Novak at the No. 3 position.

At No.1 doubles, senior Louise Kwong and sophomore Ines Vias lost a tough one against the Hawkeyes. Elise Van Heuvelen and Adorabol Huckleby won the match, 7-6 (8-6).

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Even though the Illini lost the doubles point, they bounced back against Iowa in singles. They won the first three singles matches, all without a third set.

Junior Grace Tapak started it off for the Illini, defeating Aimee Tarun at the No. 6 doubles position, 6-2, 6-2. Senior Maddie Baillon followed suit by winning 6-1, 6-2 at No.3 doubles against the Hawkeyes’ Anastasia Reimchen.

Sophomore Jaclyn Switkes then extended the match lead for the Illini to 3-1 after she defeated Adorabol Huckleby 6-2, 6-2 at No. 4 singles.

Kwong clinched the match for the Illini at the No. 1 doubles. She won over Elise Van Heuvelen, 3-6, 6-2, 7-5.

The Illini had already clinched the match, but Casati extended the lead to 5-1, winning over Douglas at No. 2 singles, 4-6, 6-2, 6-2. Iowa’s Montana Crawford put another point on the board for the Hawkeyes to end the match at 5-2. She beat Novak on Court Five, 6-7 (5-7), 6-2, 7-5

After defeating Iowa, Illinois traveled to Nebraska on Sunday.

The Illini started off the doubles point well against Nebraska, as Switkes and Baillon defeated Lisa Andersson and Vasanti Shinde 6-2 at the No. 2 position.

However, the Cornhuskers retaliated by winning both the No. 1 and No. 3 doubles matches to take the doubles point. Nebraska’s Mary Hanna and Paula Del Cueto Castillo beat Kwong and sophomore Ines Vias in the next match, 6-3.

Claire Reifeis and Hayley Haakenstad clinched the doubles point for the Cornhuskers with a 6-3 win at the No. 3 doubles position over Casati and Novak.

The Illini bounced back strongly to start off singles, winning the first two matches at the No. 5 and No. 2 positions.

In the first match, Novak beat Nebraska’s Jeannie Lozowski 7-5, 6-3. Casati then gave the Illini a 2-1 lead in the match, winning at No. 2 singles, 6-1, 7-6 against Reifeis.

Nebraska countered the Illinois’ consecutive wins with three of its own. Castillo won at No. 4 singles against Switkes 6-1, 7-6. Kwong lost in the next match 4-6, 6-7 in No. 1 singles against Vasanti Shinde.

Andersson then clinched the win at 4-2 for the Cornhuskers, beating Tapak at No. 6 singles, 6-4, 5-7, 6-2.

The Illini fell to 9-10 and had their win streak snapped at five. Nebraska improved to 17-3 and 4-1 in conference play.

The Illini continue their road trip in the Big Ten next weekend when they play Indiana on Friday and Purdue on Sunday.

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